British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry

Day 3


Examined by Mr. DUNLOP.

1745. Were you a trimmer on the "Lusitania”?
- Yes, but I was promoted fireman.

1746. At the time the "Lusitania” was struck were you in No.2 stokehold on the starboard side?
- Yes.

1747. Can you say where it was the "Lusitania” was struck?
- No, I cannot.

1748. Did you form any opinion at the time?
- I think she was struck at the after-end of No.2, be tween the two boilers. I ran to about three parts of the way between the boilers, when a rush of water met me, and knocked me off my feet and I was struggling in the water for two or three minutes.

1749. Which way was the water coming?
- From the after part of the ship.

1750. Coming into No.2 stokehold?
- Yes.

1751. Was it a big rush of water or not?
- Yes.

Examined by Mr. CLEM EDWARDS.

1752-3. I do not quite understand where you were?
- On the starboard side on the after part.

1754. How far away were you from where you thought the explosion took place?
- That I cannot say.

1765. Supposing the explosion took place between Nos. 2 and 3 funnels, how far away would you be?
- About 40 yards.

1756. And you were 40 yards forward, were you?
- Yes.

1757. Between you and the point of the explosion how many bulkheads would there be?

The Commissioner:
But does he know where the explosion was?

1758. Mr. Clem Edwards: Assuming that the explosion took place between Nos. 2 and 3 funnels, he says that where he was would be about 40 yards forward. (To the witness.) Now, let us for a moment assume that the explosion did take place about 40 yards aft from where you were; what I want to get from you is this, how many bulkheads would there be between you and the point of the explosion?
- One.

1759. How far would that bulkhead be from where you were?
- About 30 feet.

1760. There was a watertight door in that bulkhead was there not?
- Yes.

1761. Was that watertight door open or closed?
- That I cannot say, as I had not time to get to the bulkhead because of the rush of the water.

1762. Now, you say the water came along?
- Yes.

1763. And that water came from aft, did it?
- Yes.

1764. Did it appear to come from the direction where the watertight door was?
- No, from the side of the ship.

1765..As far as you know, was there any damage done by the explosion forward of where you were?
- No.

1766. No damage at all?
- I only heard the one explosion.

1767. So far as you are aware did that explosion cause any damage further forward than you were?
- That I cannot say.

1768. Did it knock you about at all?
- No; it just shook me; that was all.

1769. How did you get further abaft?
- I ran between the two boilers, between the centre and the starboard boilers.

1770. Then bow did you get up?
- The force of the water washed me out through the bottom of the ventilating shaft.

1771. How far forward from where you were when the explosion took place was the bulkhead forward? You said the one that was aft was about 30 feet away. How far was the one that was forward?
- It was the aft part of No.2 section - the bulkhead you are speaking of.

1772. I am talking now of the bulkhead that was forward of where you were. How far away would that bulkhead be from you?
- About the same distance.

1773. That is about 30 feet. Did you get near the bulkhead?
- No, I did not get forward at all.

1774. And you cannot say whether the watertight door in that bulkhead was closed or not?
- No.

(The witness withdrew.)